You are a runner. You focus your mind and body on the pursuit of self-improvement, omitting feelings of discomfort during every run. Faster, stronger, more efficient… Each run a personal lesson in self-discipline. You accept the fact most will never understand your relentless drive to be better than you were yesterday. You are no longer satisfied with the status-quo.
In 1970, Novelist Richard Bach wrote a novel about a seagull; Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Jonathan, too, focused himself on the pursuit of self-improvement. He learned to accept his isolation from other birds, who only used their gift of flight to acquire food. But Jonathan was much different…he loved to fly.
“But way off alone, out by himself beyond boat and shore, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was practicing. A hundred feet in the sky he lowered his webbed feet, lifted his beak, and strained to hold a painful hard twisting curve through his wings. ” (1)
And so you train. Uninspired by the daily status-quo, you want something more…something better. It is not materialism, nor power, that moves you forward. It is the intangible quest for internal peace and vitality. To run, climb, hike…fly without effort.
“It wasn’t long before Jonathan Gull was off by himself again, far out at sea, hungry, happy, learning. ”
Running is an expression…an experience. You connect emotionally with your body and the earth. With the first steps of any run, your mind is busy with conflicts and noise. Your breath and effort calm…the noise is gone. All quiet now…you are flying.
At this moment, time is stopped. The earth’s wisdom can be heard. Your mind is clear…your ears are open. Is it God? It is energy…you are flying. Each step is automatic… smooth. Beauty is all around. Colors are deep…everything is clear. Life is perfect.
Feelings are intangible but you know where this experience is found. With greater depth, you explore the idea of running as something much greater than physical movement. Perhaps you have begun to realize that it truly is…
“To begin with”, he said heavily, “you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.” (1)
You are your body. You are your mind. We are all energy. And today you can fly higher than ever before… if you believe it is possible.
There is no limit.
(1) Jonathan Livinston Seagull; Richard Bach, 1970